The public art programme for Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK

Submitted by Willis Newson

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Client

Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Art Consultant

Willis Newson

Willis Newson

Artist

Jaqueline Poncelet

Artist

Laura Ford

Artist

Ally Wallace

Architect

Building Design Partnership

Building Design Partnership

Other

North Bristol NHS Trust

North Bristol NHS Trust

Client

Carillion

Carillion

Overview

A public art programme integrated into the new Southmead Hospital Bristol shows how involving high calibre artists working alongside the hospital community can create therapeutic environments which improve the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors.The £1.1 million arts programme is a small part of North Bristol NHS Trust’s £430 million Southmead Hospital Bristol Private Finance Initiative (PFI) development. It builds on research which clearly demonstrates the direct benefits for patients of incorporating visual and performing arts into the hospital environment.

Goals

Southmead Hospital Bristol’s public art programme features the work of nationally and internationally recognised artists to animate spaces and create special places within the hospital building and grounds. Pieces of art provide moments of reflection or distraction, lift the mood, or provoke emotional responses that encourage empathy and understanding.

Process

Project leaders Willis Newson were commissioned by the developers of the new site, Carillion. Underpinning the project is a close collaboration between North Bristol NHS Trust and its arts programme Fresh Arts, architects Building Design Partnership (BDP), the commissioned artists, Carillion and Willis Newson. This close collaboration enabled Willis Newson creatively to integrate the public art with the architecture of the building.The building and surrounding grounds features the work of six artists as part of a wider public art programme which involves patients, staff and the wider community. A series of exhibitions by local schools and artists’ groups are shown within the hospital in specially created changing gallery spaces.

Additional Information

“Southmead Hospital merits being a stop on the grand tour of the world’s notable hospital facilities, along with Rikshospitalet in Oslo and the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.” Ken Schwarz, architectural advisor to North Bristol NHS Trust